My kids love a good craft, and I love anything that keeps them busy and happy.  Bonus points for anything educational and inexpensive.  Our latest craft was negative coloring.  This is so simple, and you most likely have everything that you might need right now.  This is fun for multiple ages, and your designs can be as complex or simple as you choose.  You will need, paper, crayons (or markers, chalk, paint, whatever floats your child’s boat), and tape.

The first step is to take your clean paper and use the tape to draw a design.  My daughter favored making her initials.  She eventually ventured off into flowers and hearts.  I had to help the littlest kids a tad, but my two year old loved putting his own little pieces of tape on is paper.  Once your tape design is finished you let the kids go to town coloring.  The goal is to cover every single inch of white that they can see.  My kids loved using as many colors as possible and really filling up the spaces.

Once everyone is satisfied with how much color they have on their papers, you can begin to carefully remove the tape.  Small kids might need more help with this to ensure that they do not rip their papers.  Remove your tape and voila! You’ve got instant negative art!  This made my kids extremely excited and they enjoyed making different patters to see what would happen.  It was a great lesson in opposites, and really just a whole lot of fun and coloring.

If you have one of those splatter painters, you know the things that spin your paper while you squirt paint onto it, this would be fun with that too!  Just make sure to wait for the paint to dry before removing your tape to avoid any smearing!

-Stephanie Wright

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